The Films of the Eighties: A Social History
Southern Illinois University Press, 1993 - 335 pages
In this remarkable sequel to his Films of the Seventies: A Social History, William J. Palmer examines more than three hundred films as texts that represent, revise, parody, comment upon, and generate discussion about major events, issues, and social trends of the eighties.
Palmer defines the dialectic between film art and social history, taking as his theoretical model the "holograph of history" that originated from the New Historicist theories of Hayden White and Dominick LaCapra. Combining the interests and methodologies of social history and film criticism, Palmer contends that film is a socially conscious interpreter and commentator upon the issues of contemporary social history. In the eighties, such issues included the war in Vietnam, the preservation of the American farm, terrorism, nuclear holocaust, changes in Soviet-American relations, neoconservative feminism, and yuppies.
Among the films Palmer examines are Platoon, The Killing Fields, The River, Out of Africa, Little Drummer Girl, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Silkwood, The Day After, Red Dawn, Moscow on the Hudson, Troop Beverly Hills, and Fatal Attraction. Utilizing the principles of New Historicism, Palmer demonstrates that film can analyze and critique history as well as present it.
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... Sydney Schanberg for a having left his friend Dith Pran behind but , on a subtextual level , is a metaphorical representation of a national “ survival guilt ” for what happened to the people of Cambodia because of the Vietnam War .
Russia's Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 was a graphic demonstration of what almost happened at Three Mile Island in 1978. The earthquake that wracked Soviet Armenia in 1988 mirrored the devastation that Hurricane Hugo of the summer ...
A lawyer who began her career as a public defender in Detroit and realized that all of her murderer and rapist clients were guilty , she explains what happened to chill out her life : “ And then I left . I had this friend from law ...
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The Vietnam War as Film Text
The Coming Home Films
The Terrorism Film Texts
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